Eight people were rescued after becoming trapped in three different lifts in Brighton over the weekend.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said today (Monday 15 January): “On (Saturday) 13 January at 11.42am, firefighters from Brighton attended a property in Varndean Drive, Brighton, following reports of persons shut in a lift. Crews released two people.
“On (Saturday) 13 January at 10.46pm, firefighters from Brighton attended a residential home in London Road, Brighton, following reports of persons shut in a lift. Crews released four people.
“On (Sunday) 14 January at 6.37pm, firefighters from Brighton attended a property in Blackman Street, Brighton, following reports of persons shut in a lift. Firefighters released two people.”
The former borough commander for Brighton and Hove spoke out last month about the problems of dealing with high numbers of lift rescues and false alarms.
Mark Matthews, now the fire service’s assistant director of safer communities, said: “It’s important that we are not distracted from real emergencies by call outs which could have been prevented.
“The good news is that businesses, landlords and property owners can take some simple steps to reduce these types of calls.
“We are asking them to follow our advice and take responsibility for their premises and by doing so ensure our crews remain available for life-saving incidents.
“The potential of a lift stopping between floors or lift doors failing to open is a foreseeable event that does not always require the attendance of our fire crews.
“We expect that the building’s owner or occupants have a way to deal with these non-emergency events when they happen. You should not rely on calling 999.
“You should make arrangements to provide a 24/7 non-emergency lift release service within a reasonable period of time, as well as communications facilities inside the elevator so a person can raise the alarm.
“We would therefore ask that you
• keep lifts in good working order with regular services and inspections
• have a clear policy on what to do if the lift breaks down – this should include having a contract or contact details for lift engineers
• ensure there are clear instructions inside the lift which explain what to do if it stops unexpectedly
• ensure that people in your building know what to do to summon help
• ensure that if your lift does suffer a malfunction you fully understand the problem and take appropriate action to prevent a similar fault
“We would like to point out there are legal responsibilities under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 to show a ‘common duty of care’ to keep the property safe and properly maintained.”